Netflix has come a long way from its early days of sending film buffs DVDs in the post. Over the last decade, they’ve grown to become the world’s largest streaming service and have amassed over 200 million loyal subscribers from all over the world.
The service replaced the high-flying Blockbuster brand - a company I was very familiar with as I used to visit my local store to rent Bond movies and indulge in some precious social interaction. After the brand went extinct, I was forced to comply with the masses and download Netflix in my (detached) home.
Netflix Was My Best Friend During COVID
Netflix was my best friend in 2020 and, if I’m honest, 2021. Whilst I was stuck at home during lockdown, I’d spend my evenings watching World War Two documentaries and trying to get into the new Top Gear (to no avail).
My attachment to the platform grew so large that the recent news about its rule changes were enough to ruin my day. For those who don’t know, the company is considering a massive crackdown on password-sharing and may even introduce adverts to some paying customers in an attempt to bring in more revenue.
Loss Of Subscribers
Now that COVID restrictions are mostly over, millions of fair-weather subscribers have deleted their accounts and left Netflix behind. Some say these radical measures are a step too far, whilst others say they’re understandable and necessary.
But the problems at Netflix aren’t limited to mere password sharing and pandemic difficulties. There’s another issue that the company simply isn’t self-aware enough to admit - its content and programming.
More Misses Than Hits
Take a series like The Crown for example. Though the program was viewed by millions, its showcasing of The Queen’s personal life and cavaliere approach to portraying her struggles was enough to leave a bad taste in my mouth - and I’m not alone in thinking that.
The abundance of distasteful true crime shows is worrying, too. How can anyone watch such shows in good conscience, knowing that their entertainment is built on the suffering shoulders of those affected?
It feels like there have been an awful lot more Netflix misses than hits recently. The abundance of unfunny comedy specials and unimaginative documentaries should be setting off alarm bells at Netflix HQ, but still the company is adamant that their recent slump is due to external factors they cannot control. How convenient.
Netflix A Victim Of Its Own Success
I grew up in an area where there were only a handful of channels on television. My generation, therefore, has a respect for the television medium that the younger folks can only dream of. British comedies like Fawlty Towers and the Monty Python sketches have yet to be topped, whilst dramas like The Professionals are still head and shoulders above any Millennial creation.
Today’s era of instant gratification and poor attention spans means its easy for programs to be lost in the shuffle and Netflix may very well be a victim of its own success. If everything is ‘must-see’, doesn’t that cheapen the phrase to the point of uselessness?
Stick To The British Classics!
It’s a case off too many cooks ruining the broth. Netflix were onto a winner with their exclusive content, but the sheer number of shows on its dashboard are enough to overwhelm even the most loyal viewers. Can’t they just stick up a few classic British comedies, films, and a (tasteful) royal documentary and call it a day?
Netflix has its fair share of issues to sort out from the way it treats its customers to its presentation of our Royal Family. Until then, I’ll stick to watching my classic British shows and reminding myself of better times.
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